Some upgrades complete
Ok, it took forever to get most of the parts together. I pieced together a nice kit with some good parts and for cheaper price than buying a kit sold anywhere I could find online. I missed out on some opportunities to have a 5.5" kit from james duff and a 6" kit from skyjacker. I kept searching and waiting for deals and finally got some. I bought some parts from people on this site and off of craigslist.
Needless to say, I know making upgrades with no pictures means it did not happen or is worthless to some people. I will be getting some pics up soon. I am not a take pics as I go kinda guy. I have not finished the lift completely, as I still need to do a SOA on the rear. I also ran into some issues when I put the coil mount and the shock mount. I did not account for the angle which the lower coil mount and the upper coil mount were in relation to eachother. For further information please read on, it is long though so I understand if you don't.
I will begin by saying, "A TTB lift is byfar the most time consuming lift kit I have ever put on". I began taking the truck apart on this past thursday. I spent about 3-4 hours cutting rivets and taking the front axle, rad arms, rad arm mount and transmission cross member off. I had to stop at that point due to the fact night had come. Working at night and drilling holes in a frame in a neighborhood after the sun is down would warrant a call for service for the police, so I called it a night.
The next day I got started early. This day was the longest of all three days. I spent a total of 10 hours drilling holes, breaking bits and drills. I wish I would have spent another $80 dollars on a nice drill, as well as some good drill bits. I bought a drill from Harbor Freight, not to knock their products, but not the best idea to buy a cheap drill for such an involved project. They do have a good return policy though and replaced 2 drills for me the same day. I also bought my drill bits from them. Luckily the drill bits came in a pack of 30. So, I figured even if I broke 3 drill bits a hole I would still be ok. Needless to say I got all of the holes drilled and reemed on day two. I also cut off the stock coil mount and shock mount on this day.
This is where some of the problems would appear later when "trying" to finish the project. I used the, "measure three times, cut once" plan, but when you dont take a step back and look at things as a whole, you can still mess it up.
I cut the coil mount off and mounted it one inch directly above where it sat in stock form. I drilled two holes, bolted it up and welded the mount where I could. I cut off the stock shock mount as well. I replaced it with a f250 shock mount and at the same angle as the coil mount. Now the way things were looking at this point, I thought things were going well. I bolted up the skyjacker brackets and James duff radius arm mounts by the end of the night.
I started early again the third day, yesterday. I got the axle back under the truck and mounted back in place. I mounted the radius arms and attempted to put the coils on. This is when I noticed the coil mounts did not match up. I also noticed just how much of an angle the mounts were at. You see I put the coil/shock mount up with out the axle being under the truck. I think this was my first mistake. I shouldn't have tried mounting them until I could see where the coil/shock mount lined up in relation to the lower mounts. My second mistake was having to many friends there trying to help. I think I spent alot of time doing my work then going back and checking their work as well. It was like doing everything three times.
Needless to say the lower mounts did not line up correctly and the coils would not line up. I did get one coil on, to see what would happen under load. The coil started to bend and had a kind of snake like look to it. I ran out of time to work on the truck this weekend and had to leave my truck sitting in my father inlaws driveway. Then later, I learned one of my bodies tired to get my pitman arm tierod off with a BFH, when I had the puller. He mushroomed the threads on the tierod, so, another new part I have to add to the list. Luckily, my father inlaw is awesome and could care less.
I contacted a guy in my father inlaws neighborhood, who said he would take a look at it and see what he could do. This guy is a metal wizard. He recently finished a flat fender willy's for the west coast regional manager of red bull. This was one of the nicest jeeps i had seen in a while. completely restored for trail abuse. Dana 60's, 37's, atlas t-case and custom frame. A roll cage and steering from a old caddy. He built this jeep from the ground up and all done in his garage.
Like I said it was going to be long. I know some people on this site probably could have had my rig up and running in three days, but I work at a slower pace. This is a daily driver, so my wife was a little upset but understood things don't always work out as planned. So, my truck is extremely close to being finished. I will try to get pics up in the next few days. I hope some one out there will benefit from some of my mistakes. Grab the friends who work hard, fast and are 4x4 aware. Don't make a timeline for yourself and don't force things to work. Wait until you have the time to line everything up and do it once. It may take more time during the build, but will save time when you dont have to cut everything off to make repairs.
Once again, I will have pics up soon. Thanks for readin.